Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Spurred on by government incentives and bargain-basement prices, the Chinese are planning to pump hundreds of millions — perhaps billions — of euros into Greece even as other investors run the other way. The cornerstone of those plans is the transformation of the Mediterranean port of Piraeus into the Rotterdam of the south, creating a modern gateway linking Chinese factories with consumers across Europe and North Africa.
The port project is emerging as a bellwether for Greek plans to pay down debt and reinvent its broken economy by privatizing inefficient government-owned utilities, trains and even casinos. This week, the Chinese shipping giant Cosco assumed full control of the major container dock in Piraeus, just southwest of Athens. In return, the Chinese have pledged to spend $700 million to construct a new pier and upgrade existing docks.
In isolation, this certainly isn’t horrible news; I’m happy to see Greece figure out any way to move forward out of this morass. But the big picture doesn’t look great. The Chinese economic colonization of Africa is already well underway. And the failure of Europe to seriously consider a unifying political solution to their structural economic problems means that the Continent’s soft underbelly is a target of opportunity for venturesome foreign powers looking to pick off the sovereignty of European nations a la carte.